Saturday, March 31

What We Can Learn from Neruda’s Poetry of Resistance

"When I first embarked on writing a biography of Pablo Neruda over a decade ago, I wanted to explore the political power of poetry and its capacity to inspire social change. Neruda’s social verse was an integral part of the humanity he expressed; even without pen in hand, he boldly inserted himself into direct action. I happened to finish the book—Neruda: The Poet’s Calling—at the end of Trump’s first hundred days in office. As a result, the questions that I’d been exploring for years suddenly took on new urgency. As resistance increasingly becomes the operative word in our current political reality, what can one of the most important and iconic resistance poets of the past century offer us? What might he give us as we continue to shape the next chapter in our own cultural story? Some answers, or at least perspectives, can be found in the vivid details of Neruda’s life and work. Neruda’s legacy was directly shaped by the historical events in which he played a part. ..."
The Paris Review

February 2009: Pablo Neruda, 2011 November: 100 Love Sonnets, 2015 November: The Body Politic: The battle over Pablo Neruda’s corpse, 2015 December: In Chile, Where Pablo Neruda Lived and Loved, 2016 May: Windows that Open Inward - Pablo Neruda. Milton Rogovin, Photographing.

Stitt Meets Brother Jack - Sonny Stitt (1962)

"In honor of the upcoming listening party at Baby's On Fire, this week's featured album art is a Sonny Stitt cover. On Prestige 7244, Stitt Meets Brother Jack (1962), Don Schlitten is given both photography and design credits. ... Schlitten is most often discussed in jazz history as a producer, record label founder, and otherwise jazz industry entrepreneur. For Prestige 7244, Stitt Meets Brother Jack (1962), Schlitten situates Sonny Stitt mid-note and focused-gaze awash in a field of salmon complemented by gold and white type. ... Indeed Levin's notes go on to mention the comparison to Bird, but Stitt is responsible for composing many of the tracks on the album, and he is accompanied by a soulful and energetic ensemble that includes Jack McDuff on the organ; Eddie Diehl on guitar; Art Taylor on drums; Ray Barretto on conga; and together they create a unique albeit steady sound. Sonny Stitt is surely an underrated jazz great and both aesthetic treatments by Schlitten here are fitting portrayals of his cool character."
The Entrepreneur's Color Tint
W - Stitt Meets Brother Jack
YouTube: Stitt Meets Brother Jack [Full Album] 38:32

Twin Peaks VR Lets You Live Inside A Dream

"The Red Room has been a beloved setting in fanmade Twin Peaks VR experiments for years, and that’s exactly how this project started too. But Orly Rodriguez is quickly expanding his virtual reality experience called The Archivist: VR to include other iconic locations, such as the RR Diner, the Roadhouse and the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department. Jam with Carl at the Fat Trout Trailer Park or ask Jeffries about Judy. You can even hang out with the woodsmen above the convenience store or, if you step over the bodies of Sam and Tracey on the penthouse floor, you can inspect the inside of the glass box in New York. ..."
Twin Peaks VR Lets You Live Inside A Dream (Video)
An Echo Of Owls: watching repeats of Twin Peaks eleven years later

2008 September: Twin Peaks, 2010 March: Twin Peaks: How Laura Palmer's death marked the rebirth of TV drama, 2011 October: Twin Peaks: The Last Days, 2014 October: Welcome to Twin Peaks, 2015 June: David Lynch: ‘I’ve always loved Laura Palmer’, 2015 July: Twin Peaks Maps, 2016 May: Hear the Music of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks Played..., September: Twin Peaks Tarot Cards For The Magician Who Longs To See Through The Darkness Of Future Past, 2014 September: David Lynch: The Unified Field, 2014 December: David Lynch’s Bad Thoughts - J. Hoberman, 2015 March: Lumière and Company (1995), 2015 April: David Lynch Creates a Very Surreal Plug for Transcendental Meditation, 2015 December: What Is “Lynchian”?, 2017 March: Anatomy of a Fascinating Disaster: Fire Walk With Me, 2017 April: Trading Card Set of the Week – Twin Peaks (Star Pics, 1991), 2017 April: Your Complete Guide to Rewatching "Twin Peaks", 2018 February: Twin Peaks: The Return, or What Isn’t Cinema?

Friday, March 30

The Imitation Of A Memory: Pizzi Cannella On Painting, Poetry, And The New School Of Rome

Veduta, 2018, mixed media on canvas,
"In a vitrine in the far corner of the gallery, a black and white photograph presents a man apparently deep in thought. Pierro Pizzi Cannella sits hunched over in an office chair, just a hint of white beard poking out from the shadow of his black hoodie like some reaper wracked with concern for the dead, his shadow cast against two canvases, on the wall of his studio in Rome. The same two paintings can be found here on the walls of Partners & Mucciaccia in Mayfair. In each one, an antique metal garden chair, one blackened, as if rotting, the other fading, almost crumbling into dust. Each chair is placed beside a table in matching style. They have the appearance, somehow, of a memory or a dream, caught slowly evanescing into the dense swathes of paint that fill the backdrop of the painting. ..."
The Quietus
Piero Pizzi Cannella

Veduta o paesaggio, 2012

Culture of Quebec

Wikipedia - "The Culture of Quebec emerged over the last few hundred years, resulting predominantly from the shared history of the French-speaking North Americans majority in Quebec. It is noteworthy in the Western World; Quebec is the only region in North America with a French-speaking majority, as well as one of only two provinces in Canada where French is a constitutionally-recognized official language. ... As of 2006, 79% of all Quebecers list French as their mother tongue; since French is the official language in the province, up to 95% of all residents speak French. History made Quebec a meeting place for cultures, where people from around the world experience America, but in the main from the point of view of a linguistic minority surrounded by the larger English-speaking culture. ... The Encyclopædia Britannica describes contemporary Quebec culture as a post-1960s phenomenon resulting from the Quiet Revolution, an essentially homogeneous socially liberal counter-culture phenomenon supported and financed by both of Quebec's major political parties, who differ essentially not in a right-vs-left continuum but a federalist-vs-sovereignty/separatist continuum. ..."

2009 August: Quebec City, 2015 October: History of the Acadians, 2016 September: Keeping the Student Strike Alive

Macao - Josef von Sternberg and Nicholas Ray (1952)

Wikipedia - "Macao is a 1952 black-and-white film noir adventure directed by Josef von Sternberg and Nicholas Ray. Producer Howard Hughes fired director von Sternberg during filming and hired Nicholas Ray to finish it. The drama features Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell, William Bendix, and Gloria Grahame. Three strangers arrive at the port of Macao on the same ship: Nick Cochran (Robert Mitchum), a cynical-but-honest ex-serviceman, Julie Benson (Jane Russell), an equally cynical, sultry night club singer, and Lawrence Trumble (William Bendix), a traveling salesman who deals in both silk stockings and contraband. ..."
Not Coming
MUBI: Macao - Trailer
YouTube: Jane Russell - One for My Baby

Thursday, March 29

Baseball Loves the Long Ball. But for How Long?

"Imagine teleporting into a baseball video game. That, John Mozeliak said, is how he felt watching college hitters on a recent visit to a Division I program. All the data that might appear on the screen of a virtual game was available, in real time, during batting practice. ... Give elite athletes an incentive to play a certain way — and the tools to show them how — and this is what you get: a convergence of talent and technology that has rapidly turned baseball into a test of power at the plate and on the mound. Hitters seek home runs and pitchers hunt strikeouts, and both statistics reached unprecedented levels last season: 6,105 homers and 40,104 strikeouts. But as a new season dawns, many baseball people wonder where the game evolves from here. It is not a question of if things will change, they say, only when and how. ..."
NY Times
NY Times - A.L. Preview: Watch Out, the Houston Astros Got Better
NY Times - N.L. Preview: Cubs Mix Michelangelo and Theo Epstein’s ‘More Stuff’
FiveThirtyEight: Your Guide To The 2018 American League
FiveThirtyEight: Your Guide To The 2018 National League
FiveThirtyEight: How Our MLB Predictions Work
FiveThirtyEight: The Complete History Of MLB
NY Times: Aaron Judge Is Baseball’s Most Powerful Hitter (Audio)
The Ringer: The Ringer Staff’s 2018 MLB Season Predictions (Video)
The Ringer: The Casual Fan’s Cheat Sheet for the 2018 MLB Season (Video)
W - 2018 Major League Baseball season

The young sluggers Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa have thrived with the Astros.

Nick Mauss: Transmissions

"For his first solo museum exhibition in the United States, artist Nick Mauss (b. 1980) presents Transmissions, a multidisciplinary work exploring the relationship between modernist ballet and the avant-garde visual arts in New York from the 1930s through ’50s. Over the past decade, Mauss has pursued a hybrid mode of working that merges the roles of curator, artist, and scholar. At the Whitney he brings together his own works, alongside historical photographs, sculptures, paintings, drawings, film and video from the Whitney’s holdings and those of other public and private collections—all presented within a layered exhibition design by Mauss that allows for the works to be seen in a new light. Central to the exhibition is a daily performance by four dancers made in collaboration with Mauss as an interpretative reaction to the artworks and archival materials on display. ..."
Whitney (Video)
NY Times - Review: ‘Transmissions’ Evokes a Climate (Poetic, With a Chance of Ballet)
ArtMag: Ornament Is No Crime

Wednesday, March 28

Video 50 - Robert Wilson (1978)

"Video 50 is an extraordinary video sketchbook, a highly original, visually dramatic and frequently humorous collection of one hundred abbreviated 'episodes' produced for television. Unfolding as a series of thirty-second vignettes, this enigmatic essay in style is characterized by a deadpan theatricality, symbolist imagery, surrealist juxtapositions and repetition of key visual motifs. Indelible images, precisely composed — a man teetering above a waterfall, a floating chair, a winking eye, a parrot against the New York skyline — are accompanied by an 'architectural' sound score that includes spoken 'phonetic patterns' rather than words. Fusing his surprising visual logic and rhythms with unexpected temporal manipulations, Wilson creates a work of startling wit and poetry. -- EAI ..."
UbuWeb (Video)
'Robert Wilson: Video 50' installation redefines the nature of filmmaking

2008 April: Robert Wilson, 2010 January: Einstein on the Beach, 2010 July: The CIVIL warS, 2011 May: Einstein on the Beach: The Changing Image of Opera , 2011 August: Stations (1982), 2012 February: Absolute Wilson, 2012 August: Einstein on the Blog: Christopher Knowles’ Typings, 2013 March: The Life and Times of Joseph Stalin, 2013 April: Death, Destruction and Detroit, 2013 October: crickets audio recording slowed way down, 2013 October: Beached, 2014 January: The Louvre invites Robert Wilson - Living Rooms, 2014 November: The Old Woman - Robert Wilson, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Willem Dafoe, 2015 May: Watermill Quintet: Robert Wilson Curates New Performances, 2015 June: THE EARTH MOVES. A documentary about Einstein on the Beach.

After the Strongman

"At the headquarters of Zimbabwe’s ruling party, a portrait of the former dictator, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, stared down from a high wall enclosing a bank of elevators. He wore a gray suit, a white-dotted navy tie, and a matching pocket square. His etched jowls were imposing. He looked much younger than 93. I took a moment to gape. So far, on my trip to Harare, three weeks after a coup deposed Mugabe in November 2017, I had seen no pictures of the man. Once mandated in state buildings, they had been taken down swiftly after the coup. A teacher I met described the scene in her school on the day of his resignation. ... For a while there were blank spaces—empty rectangles where once there were portraits—throughout the capital. Then, on the third day of my visit, a picture of the new president, Emmerson 'E.D.' Mnangagwa, went up behind the reception desk at my hotel, above the aquarium full of flat, orange fish. In the party headquarters, I went up and down in the crammed elevator with its sweating, besuited apparatchiks. It was only when I came back to the foyer that I saw why Mugabe’s picture was still there: It had been painted, not pasted, onto the tiled wall. It would take a while before someone could get up there on a ladder and scrape it off. ..."
New Republic
NY Times: A Strongman Nicknamed ‘Crocodile’ Is Poised to Replace Mugabe (Video) Nov. 2017
W - Robert Mugabe

Unknown Pleasures

FACT 45, Always Now, Sep 1981
"Peter Saville was born in Manchester on 9 Oct 1955 and later studied graphic design at Manchester Polytechnic. After meeting the Grenada TV presenter Tony Wilson at a 'very, very bad Patti Smith gig in late 77 or early 78,' he was commissioned, at age 23, to design a poster for Wilson’s new club - The Factory. The poster, which in typical Saville fashion arrived too late, was not based on the prevailing punk aesthetic but on Jan Tschichold’s Die Neue Typographie. As he later stated 'I found Tschichold’s elegantly ordered aesthetic more appealing than the anarchic style of punk graphics. I found a parallel in it for the New Wave that was evolving out of Punk.' In 1978 Wilson, along with Saville, unemployed actor Tony Erasmus, producer Martin Hannett and band manager Rob Gretton created Factory Records. The chaotic, quixotic and now legendary label set up operations in Erasmus’ home on Palantine Road in Manchester. Because no one had any idea what they were doing, Saville was given a remarkably wide latitude in design. ..."

2008 March: Ian Curtis, 2009 August: Factory: Manchester From Joy Division To Happy Mondays, 2010 November: Love Will Tear Us Apart, 2012 February: An Ideal for Living EP, 2012 May: Unknown Pleasures, 2013 May: "Atmosphere"/ "Dead Souls", 2016 December: John Peel Session (1979), 2017 July: Closer (1980), 2018 January: She's Lost Control (1979)

Tuesday, March 27

Destination Moon (1950), Explorers on the Moon (1954)

Wikipedia - "Destination Moon (French: Objectif Lune) is the sixteenth volume of The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. The story was initially serialised weekly in Belgium's Tintin magazine from March to September 1950 before being published in a collected volume by Casterman in 1953. The plot tells of young reporter Tintin and his friend Captain Haddock who receive an invitation from Professor Calculus to come to Syldavia, where Calculus is working on a top-secret project in a secure government facility to plan a manned mission to the Moon. Developed in part through the suggestions of Hergé's friends Bernard Heuvelmans and Jacques Van Melkebeke, Destination Moon was produced following Hergé's extensive research into the possibility of human space travel – a feat that had yet to be achieved – with the cartoonist seeking for the work to be as realistic as possible. During the story's serialisation, Hergé established Studios Hergé, a Brussels-based team of cartoonists to aid him on the project. Hergé concluded the story arc begun in this volume with Explorers on the Moon, while the series itself became a defining part of the Franco-Belgian comics tradition. Critics have praised the illustrative detail of the book, but have expressed mixed views of the narrative. ..."
W - Destination Moon, W - Explorers on the Moon
[PDF] Destination Moon, [PDF] Explorers on the Moon
vimeo: Destination Moon 41:44, YouTube: Explorers on the Moon
amazon: Destination Moon, Explorers on the Moon

2008 May: Georges Remi, 1907-1983, 2010 July: The Adventures of Tintin: Breaking Free, 2011 December: Prisoners of the Sun, 2012 January: Tintin: the Complete Companion, 2012 December: Snowy, 2015 August: The Black Island (1937), 2015 September: King Ottokar's Sceptre (1938), 2015 December: Red Rackham's Treasure (1943), 2016 July: Captain Haddock, 2017 April: Cigars of the Pharaoh (1934)

Playing Favourites: Jex Opolis

"Andrew Ryce hears some thrift-store bangers in the company of the rising Brooklyn-based artist. At one point during our interview, Jered Stuffco picked a cheesy record from his past to, in his words, 'keep it real.' Stuffco is the kind of DJ who plays anything that grabs him, regardless of what it is, where it came from or how cool it is. Kitschy Italo sits next to out-there European house, Brazilian pop, soulful American funk and leftfield cover songs. It all sounds refreshingly honest. Collecting rare and unusual records is in vogue right now, but Stuffco is more of an offline collector, preferring blind buys in local thrift stores over rare-record hunting or obsessive Discogs browsing. Stuffco, a Canadian who lives in Brooklyn, patiently scours every nook and cranny of a city. ..."
Resident Advisor (Video)

Monday, March 26

Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics - Inspiration Information (2009)

"The third in Strut Records' Inspiration Information collaborative series pairs Mulatu Astatke, 66-year-old father of Ethio-jazz, with London-based astral funk collective the Heliocentrics. The collaboration began with an appearance at London club Cargo in 2008, and has finally borne recorded fruit in the form of an intriguing album that's equal parts sweaty funk and blissfully meditative jams. Astatke has come to be appreciated outside specialist circles in recent years. His music featured heavily in Jim Jarmusch's 2005 film Broken Flowers, and before that, in 1998, an entire edition of the Ethiopiques album series was devoted to his work. His sound intertwines funk and jazz elements with traditional Ethiopian folk melodies and echoes of Coptic Church music. Astatke's compositions frequently combine his own vibraphone and conga playing with the distinctive sound of the lyre-like krar, which works with five tones instead of the seven-note scale typical of western music. These disparate elements combine to create a heady blend that feels both sacred and profane. ..."
Will Johnson Loves You Just The Same: Mulatu Astatke
YouTube: Inspiration Information Vol. 3 1:03:34

2016 January: New York–Addis–London: The Story of Ethio Jazz 1965–1975, 2017 March: Mulatu Astatke - Ethiopiques, Vol. 4: Ethio Jazz & Musique Instrumentale, 1969-1974

Spotlight on Toronto

"I’m in Barcelona writing a screenplay—a writer cliché, I know. I’ve been here a couple weeks and am at a bar with some friends. We’re at a language exchange, where locals and expats gather to practice the newest language on their list, be it Spanish, English, French, or Catalan. Really though, it’s just an excuse to meet new people. 'You’re from Toronto?' asks one of the locals. 'I always wanted to go. My cousin visited last year and said it’s real cool. People are friendly... and don’t judge each other.' I must admit there’s a certain feeling of pride when someone from a city I think is so interesting, thinks the same of mine. It feels like a dose of street cred, especially because Toronto has always been a bit of an underdog to other global cities. But over the years, there’s been a palpable change in our reputation. ..."
New Yorker

The Winners and Losers From the Elite Eight

"The NCAA tournament brings stunning upsets, thrilling buzzer-beaters, and a plethora of unforgettable moments that could only be created in a single-elimination tournament featuring a bunch of college players. So who shined the most in March Madness’s Elite Eight round? Let’s dive into a special edition of Winners and Losers. Winner: Loyola-Chicago Magic. We call them Cinderellas because we believe that some sort of fairy godmother has gifted a seemingly forgettable team with a moment of glory. It should be impossible for UMBC to beat Virginia without the help of magic. It’s supposed to run out by midnight—but it hasn’t for Loyola-Chicago, as the Ramblers are headed to the Final Four. Loyola hadn’t been to the NCAA tournament since 1985, and it is now two games away from a national championship. ..."
The Ringer (Video)

Sunday, March 25

Impossible City: New Orleans - Text by Tim Culvahouse. Photos by Virginia Hanusik.

First Street, Central City, New Orleans
"I don’t suppose any city in North America has been parsed so thoroughly in the last dozen years as has New Orleans. Before the failed levees drowned it in brackish water and press coverage and architectural competitions, the city was largely a mystery to anyone who hadn’t been there, and to most people who had. Now we are inundated with studies and proposals, paeans and diatribes, portraits and dramatizations, Treme and NCIS. We might even imagine we have the full picture of New Orleans. But of course that’s not true. The New Orleans of popular imagination is loud and colorful, often crowded, in your face. Certainly Bourbon Street is, so Virginia Hanusik’s picture at sunrise is a minor revelation. The last bars have closed, at four or five, and all that’s left is the sour smell of oysters, vomit, and stale beer. Every so often, in the cool drift from an open door, there comes a sweet trace of dark liquors, breathed out from shadowed wood. ..."

2012 September: Jazz Parades: Feet Don't Fail Me Now, 2017 December: Astoria Hotel, 2017 December: The 'Eternality' of Graffiti, 2018 February: Nine Albums to Get You Ready for Mardi Gras in New Orleans, 2018 March: Carnival of the Grotesque: Kara Walker’s Insistent Resistance in New Orleans

Hours Alone by Holli Carrell

"I moved to New York City because there was nothing to do but move to New York City. A girl like me from Utah romanticizes about this sort of thing when she’s fifteen — sees herself smoking off a fire escape somewhere artistic, like the West Village, with nothing else but a punchbowl and a wad of cash in her back pocket. I hadn’t been to New York in six years — since I was seventeen and staying in Midtown with my mother, hailing cabs to Ellen’s Stardust, and venturing no further than 59th street. My mantra: If it isn’t going to work out in New York it isn’t going to work out anywhere. I agree to sublet my childhood best friend’s apartment in Washington Heights. I pay for three months up front because she says it will be 'just right' and I’m all for easy acclimation. She and her husband and their three-month baby are boarding the party plane to Brooklyn. Their apartment is filled to overflow with U-haul boxes that feel like Greco-Roman ruins of the cardboard variety. ..."
This Recording

Saturday, March 24

Ernesto Chahoud presents TAITU - Soul-fuelled Stompers from 1960s - 1970s Ethiopia

"Ernesto Chahoud’s ‘Taitu’ is a collection of soul-fuelled stompers straight from the dancefloors of 1970s Addis Ababa. A breathless journey through the unique Ethio sound that bands were forging at the time, the 24-track compilation is the result of the Lebanese DJ and crate digger’s decadelong love affair with the ‘golden age’ of Ethiopian music. Among the musical gems featured are 7”s by some of the heavyweights of the scene including the godfather of Ethio jazz Mulatu Astatke and Alemayehu Eshete, the vocalist dubbed the ‘Ethiopian Elvis’, alongside tracks by more obscure artists such as Merawi Yohannis and Birkineh Wurga. ... What came out was a distinctly Ethiopian interpretation: pentatonic scales, horn-driven melodies and soul-shattering vocals sung in Amharic. The songs are difficult to box in to one genre but they share a simplicity and rawness, added to by their lo-fi quality – with many recordings made in rudimentary studios with only a couple of mics for the entire band. ..."
BBE Music (Audio)
Darsko. A Hidden Gem Worth Digging For in Bourj Hammoud
Truth & Lies (Video)
amazon, iTunes
YouTube: Ernesto Chahoud presents TAITU (music and pics), Ernesto Chahoud presents TAITU Soul-fuelled Stompers from Ethiopia, Tilahun Gessesse ‎– Aykedashim libe

2017 July: Lebanon: Various artists - Jakarta Radio 010 Mix, 2017 December: From the Counter: Beirut

Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence

"Following in the footsteps of nineteenth-century artists who celebrated the out-of-doors as a place of leisure, renewal, and inspiration, this exhibition explores horticultural developments that reshaped the landscape of France and grounded innovative movements—artistic and green—in an era that gave rise to Naturalism, Impressionism, and Art Nouveau. As shiploads of exotic botanical specimens arrived from abroad and local nurserymen pursued hybridization, the availability and variety of plants and flowers grew exponentially, as did the interest in them. The opening up of formerly royal properties and the transformation of Paris during the Second Empire into a city of tree-lined boulevards and parks introduced public green spaces to be enjoyed as open-air salons, while suburbanites and country-house dwellers were prompted to cultivate their own flower gardens. ... The important role of parks and gardens in French life during this period is richly illustrated by paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, illustrated books, and objects in The Met collection by artists extending from Camille Corot to Henri Matisse, many of whom were gardeners themselves. ..."
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art: Exhibition Galleries
Metropolitan Museum of Art: Related Videos (Video)
Habitually Chic
Metropolitan Museum of Art: Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence

David Toop Is Still Seeking Out New Sounds

"During his life-long engagement with music, David Toop has taken a shot at just about everything. He started out wanting to be a rock star, a guitarslinger influenced by the rock & roll of the ’50s and the heavier, freer sounds emerging in the ’60s. He went some way towards achieving that dream, appearing on Top of the Pops in 1980, playing guitar with playful new-wave group The Flying Lizards. Somewhere along the way, however, Toop fell in love with the free improvised music emerging from London and he began making hauntingly beautiful music on Brian Eno’s Obscure Records, alongside Max Eastley, as well as releasing various recordings and collaborations on his own Quartz Editions label. And he wrote. The publication of Rap Attack in 1984, one of the first books to seriously examine the then-emergent musical style known as hip-hop, helped transform his career yet again. ..."
Red Bull Music (Video)

2009 October: David Toop, 2014 May: Mondo Black Chamber (2014), 2015 May: Ocean of Sound (1995), 2016 July: The Strange World Of… David Toop

Friday, March 23

Skagen Painters

Anna Ancher, Harvesters (1905)
Wikipedia - "The Skagen Painters (Danish: Skagensmalerne) were a group of Scandinavian artists who gathered in the village of Skagen, the northernmost part of Denmark, from the late 1870s until the turn of the century. Skagen was a summer destination whose scenery and quality of light attracted northern artists to paint en plein air, emulating the French Impressionists—though members of the Skagen colony were also influenced by Realist movements such as the Barbizon school. They broke away from the rather rigid traditions of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts, espousing the latest trends that they had learned in Paris. Among the group were Anna and Michael Ancher, Peder Severin Krøyer, Holger Drachmann, Karl Madsen, Laurits Tuxen, Marie Krøyer, Carl Locher, Viggo Johansen and Thorvald Niss from Denmark, Oscar Björck and Johan Krouthén from Sweden, and Christian Krohg and Eilif Peterssen from Norway. The group gathered together regularly at the Brøndums Inn. Skagen, in the very north of Jutland, was the largest fishing community in Denmark, with more than half of its population so engaged. Among the locals, fishermen were by far the most common subject for the Skagen painters. ..."
W - Skagen Painters
The Light that Inspired the Skagen Painters (Audio)
The Skagen Painters, Still Influential After More than a Century
Beyond the French Impressionists: 11 Denmark, Skagen Painters
Skagen Painters

Michael Ancher, A Stroll on the Beach (1896)

Marseille’s Migrant Cuisine

Lined up selling fruit and vegetables, street merchants serve Marseille’s southern borough of Noailles, known by locals as the “belly of Marseille,” famous for its culinary kaleidoscope of piquant Moroccan pastillas (pastries), Algerian mahjoubas (crepes) and French baguettes.
"Five hundred years later the Mediterranean became Rome’s nexus of trade and empire, and Marseille became one of its maritime centers. Now, mucem exhibits olive-oil amphorae from Anatolia, soapmaking paraphernalia from Syria, and sailing charts that show how to navigate from Algiers without running aground on the island of Mallorca. Atop the museum, Emmanuel Perrodin, Marseille’s leading culinary historian, sips black coffee. The panorama over France’s third-largest city takes in the seemingly limitless sea, ramparts of 17th-century forts and a few cereal silos from the 1920s. Passenger ferries chug to and from the modern successors of the Roman trading ports of Béjaïa and Annaba in Algeria, as well as the Mediterranean islands of Corsica and Sardinia. ... "
AramcoWorld (Video)

Big Table

"Big Table was launched in spring 1959 following the suppression of the Winter 1958 issue of The Chicago Review. An exposé in the Chicago Daily News revealed editors Irving Rosenthal’s and Paul Carroll’s plans to publish work by William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and other Beat writers, and the administration quashed the magazine. Rosenthal and Carroll, along with other Chicago Review editors, resigned and with the suppressed material started Big Table.  .. The lawsuit was unsuccessful and Big Table continued through 1960 and five issues. Rosenthal left the magazine after the first issue and Carroll stayed on as editor for the duration, publishing such writers and artists as Paul Bowles, Antonin Artaud, Leon Golub, John Logan, Robert Duncan, Denise Levertov, Robert Fulton, Harry Callahan, Douglas Woolf, Aaron Siskind, Paul Blackburn, Franz Kline, Diane di Prima, and Gregory Corso. ..."
From a Secret Location
Pages of History
W - Paul Carroll (poet)
60-year Review
January, 1959 - The Big Table Howl

Thursday, March 22

Faces Places - Agnès Varda and JR (2017)

"The French filmmaker Agnès Varda, whose movie 'Faces Places' is up for Best Documentary tonight, is not only the oldest Oscar nominee in history; she is also older than the Oscars themselves. She was born, in Brussels, in May of 1928, a year to the month before the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences held its first awards ceremony, and made her first film, 'La Pointe Courte,' at the age of twenty-seven. Aside from her previous work as a photographer, she had no formal training in cinema. 'La Pointe Courte' later earned Varda the nickname Grandmother of the New Wave—a slightly strange distinction, since she was born only a couple of years before other pioneers of the movement, like her husband, Jacques Demy, or her friend Jean-Luc Godard, who was twenty-nine when 'Breathless' came out, in 1960. But Varda got there first. ..."
New Yorker: Agnès Varda Is Still Going Places
W - Faces Places
Agnès Varda and JR Talk Aging, Faces Places, and Road Trips Over Afternoon Tea
YouTube: Faces Places - Official US Trailer (HD)

August 2010: Agnès Varda, May 2011: The Beaches of Agnès, 2011 December: Interview - Agnès Varda, 2013 February: The Gleaners and I (2000), 2013 September: Cinévardaphoto (2004), 2014 July: Black Panthers (1968 doc.), 2014 October: Art on Screen: A Conversation with Agnès Varda, 2015 September: Cléo from 5 to 7 (1962), Plaisir d’amour en Iran (1976), 2017 April: Agnès Varda’s Art of Being There, 2017 April: AGNÈS VARDA with Alexandra Juhasz, 2017 August: Agnès Varda on her life and work - Artforum, 2017 October: Agnès Varda’s Ecological Conscience

NYC Subway Tiles

Fulton Street station, Rookwood Pottery, 1905.
"After the Rapid Transit Act was signed into law on 22 May 1894, the Rapid Transit Railroad’s Board of Commissioners began planning a Bronx-Manhattan-Brooklyn subway. Groundbreaking occurred on 24 Mar 1900 and after four years of construction at a cost of nearly 70 million USD the Interborough Rapid Transit Subway – 'the greatest municipal enterprise of modern times' – was opened on 27 Oct 1904. In 1901 the general contractor John McDonald hired the architects George C. Heins and Christopher Grant LaFarge, who had just completed work for the Bronx Zoo, to design the stations and platforms. Inspired by the 'City Beautiful' theories of urban planning, which had reached their peak following the 1893 Columbian Exposition, Heins and LeFarge designed beaux-arts stations and decorated the platforms with arts-and-crafts style glazed terracotta bas-reliefs and faience mosaics depicting, often obliquely, the name of the station. Although in line with the artistic tastes of the times the result wasn’t exactly an efficient system of way-finding. ..."
Codex 99

Astor Place station, Grueby Faience, 1904

Aline Kominsky-Crumb

Wikipedia - "Aline Kominsky-Crumb (née Goldsmith; born August 1, 1948) is an American underground comics artist. ... As a teenager, she turned to drugs and the counterculture, and was a hanger-on to New York countercultural musicians such as The Fugs. Relocating to East Village during her college years, she began studying art at The Cooper Union. ... After she and Diane Noomin had a falling out with Trina Robbins and other members of the collective, they started their own title, Twisted Sisters. Kominsky-Crumb later claimed that a large part of her break with the Wimmen's Comix group was over feminist issues and particularly over her relationship with Robert Crumb, whom Robbins particularly disliked. ... Since moving to France, she has focused more on painting and less on producing comics. In February 2007 she released a memoir entitled Need More Love: A Graphic Memoir, a collection of her comics and paintings, along with photographs and autobiographical writings. ..."
The Loving, Self-Deprecating Comics of Aline Kominsky-Crumb and Robert Crumb
Drawn & Quarterly
YouTube: Aline Kominsky-Crumb & R. Crumb Drawn Together

Wednesday, March 21

Socialism As A Set Of Principles

"Nearly half of millennials describe themselves as sympathetic to 'socialism' and not terribly fond of 'capitalism.' Yet if you asked each of them to explain the mechanics of how a socialist economy would function, I doubt many would have especially detailed answers. Jacobin magazine’s ABCs of Socialism consists of answers to skeptical questions about socialism (e.g. 'Don’t the rich deserve their money?' 'Is socialism pacifist?' 'Will socialism be boring?') but notably 'How will socialism actually work?' is not among them. With twelve million Democratic primary voters having cast ballots for a self-described 'socialist,' isn’t it concerning that nobody has explained in detail how socialism will 'work'? Embracing a new economic system without having a blueprint seems like it could only ever lead to something like Venezuela’s collapse. ..."
Current Affairs

Still a Long Time Coming

A protest in 1965 outside Selma's courthouse.
"What history of the civil-rights movement should we tell today? How do the political gains of an era marked by hope and possibility look from our contemporary vantage point? Our conditions, after all, seem to call for pessimism. Like Ronald Reagan before him, Donald Trump has pandered to law enforcement. Like Bill Clinton, he has justified attacks on the American welfare state that disproportionately hurt people of color. Like Richard Nixon, he rode into the White House with a call for law and order, and he and his cabinet hope to dismantle the few anti-racist protections left intact. The absurdity of reliving these previous administrations today, as if we were living in 1981, or 1993, or 1969, would be satirical if it were not so plausible. Just over a year into Trump’s presidency, the fragile state of racial justice in America can only produce a deep sense of despair. While researched and written before Trump’s election, Karlyn Forner’s Why the Vote Wasn’t Enough for Selma, a history of the Alabama city and surrounding Dallas County, seems to appropriately reflect the tenor of our time. ..."
The Nation
amazon: Why the Vote Wasn't Enough for Selma Paperback, Karlyn Forner

Cabaret Voltaire ‎– Micro-Phonies (1984)

"Following neatly after The Crackdown's aggressive art/funk/electro combination, Micro-Phonies shows the duo taking that combination to a stronger level. Having invented the shadowy, murkier side of industrial/noise experimentation, here Cabaret Voltaire make their equally justified claim at fully kickstarting the beat-heavy crunch such labels as Wax Trax! would pursue shortly thereafter. DAF and the On-U Sound collective deserve as much notice for this, but the Cabs' relatively higher profile in the English/American cultural scheme made them the harbingers as much as anyone. Flood's sympathetic co-production with the band is another feather in his cap, and the album sounds just as strong today as it did upon its release. Micro-Phonies' most noted tracks are the appropriately funky, horn-heavy 'James Brown,' and the gripping 'Sensoria,' which makes for a brilliant album closer, with nervous-tension synth signals and a spare but compelling guitar line over another strong beat combination. ..."
W - Micro-Phonies
Cabaret Voltaire
YouTube: Blue Heat (12Mix)
YouTube: Micro-Phonies [Full Album] (1984)

2009 December: Cabaret Voltaire, 2015 June: #7885 (Electropunk to Technopop 1978-1985), 2017 November: The Original Sound Of Sheffield '83 / '87 (2001)

Tuesday, March 20

Czech New Wave

Czech New Wave directors including Vera Chytilova (center), Milos Forman (second from right), Evald Schorm (to his left), and Jiri Menzel (far right).
"The Czechoslovak New Wave was a movement in cinema beginning in 1963 and lasting until the end of the Prague Spring reforms of 1968. Led by students of the Film and Television School of the Academy of the Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU), the arrival of this new wave of cinema came about largely as a result of new directions in the arts generally and the pressure for social and political reform that developed both inside and outside of the Communist Party in the 1960s – a collective pressure that led to the abolition of censorship and the movement towards increased democratisation. The three films that launched the wave were the debut features of Milos Forman (Black Peter), Vera Chytilová (Something Different), and Jaromil Jires (The Cry). They were followed by the work of a whole range of debut directors, among them Jan Nemec, Evald Schorm, Pavel Jurácek, Jan Schmidt, Ivan Passer, Jiri Menzel, Hynek Bocan, Juraj Jakubiso, Dusan Hanák, Elo Havetta, and Drahomira Vihanová. Each tended to go in different creative directions and find their own individual approaches, although their films often shared a common sense of humour, absurdity, pathos, and sometimes startling surrealism. ..."
New Wave Film
W - Czechoslovak New Wave
10 Essential Films From The Czech New Wave
Discover one of the hidden gems of the Czech New Wave
Czech New Wave Cinema: The Children of Marx and Kafka
Czech New Wave Cinema and Věra Chytilová
[PDF] Surrealism In and Out of the Czechoslovak New Wave
Criterion: The Eclipse Viewer – Episode 31 – Pearls of the Czech New Wave [Part 1] (Audio)
YouTube: Czech New Wave Video Essay, Understanding Experimentalism in the Czech New Wave

Loves of a Blonde (1965)

Cartographic Misdirection - r beny

"When first pulled up on its YouTube page, this video from musician r beny invokes a bit of cartographic misdirection. In the center of the frame is a single black box. The box is packed with knobs and buttons as well as a small, bright screen, which is itself packed with little icons. To the right of the box, in view when beny’s left hand isn’t, is a piece of paper with two columns of information. The circles and triangles on the paper bear more than a small resemblance to what is cycling through on the screen. It’s not uncommon for musicians, beny included, to post videos of their early experiments with new (or at least new-to-them) equipment, so it would be entirely rational to interpret this piece of paper as a page from the device’s instruction manual, a reference as beny lets the lovely music unfold. ..."
disquiet (Video)

2017 October: Lightbath’s Percussive Reverberations, 2018 February: The Actions Within - r beny

Expert Introductions: The Quietus' Top 40 Genre Compilation Albums

"For this feature, we asked tQ's esteemed contributors to pick their favourite unmixed genre compilation album, the records that introduced them to hitherto unexplored corners of the musical map. For some, their albums of choice took them to realms that were entirely unknown to them - Venezuela's burgeoning community of experimental musicians in the 1970s for example, or the beautiful traditional music of the Caucasus. For others an LP caused them to entirely reevaluate a genre, turning metal or experimental electronica from an impenetrable other universe into a welcoming new world to be explored. Some are simply excellent records. Such is the joy of the humble genre comp. Below you'll find some of the very finest ever released, a top 40 which takes in metal, hip hop, folk, drum & bass, kologo, disco and more, and spans almost every continent on Earth. We hope you enjoy this collection of the finest collections. - Patrick Clarke"
The Quietus (Video)

Monday, March 19

Jay Swanson

"Jay Swanson moved to Paris for a job that turned out not to exist on a visa that no one had gotten before. He might just stay forever. I'll switch to first person now, just to throw you off. I'm a sci-fi/fantasy writer who loves making videos and telling stories in any format available. As I dig deeper into the history of Paris to use in my world (fantasy author here) I turn around and share it through guiding tours around Paris and here on my vlog. ..."
YouTube: Jay Swanson
YouTube: How To Visit the Louvre Quickly and Efficiently, How to Buy Postcard Stamps in France, How to Survive Ordering in a Parisian Cafe, All Day Exploring Markets and Cooking in Paris with Jean Yves, Visiting Pere Lachaise and Receiving Criticism, Foggy Run and a Vegan Burger in Paris, How To Use the Paris Metro, Do You Tip in France?, Do I Feel Safe in Paris?, Good Coffee in Paris, Coffee in Paris

Arènes de Lutèce - Bill Davis, Photography. 10th Year.

Cannonball Adderley Quintet in Chicago (1959)

"When Cannonball & Coltrane was released in 1964 it had been out-of-print for some time in it's original incarnation as The Cannonball Adderley Quintet In Chicago. That LP was originally recorded and released in 1959 on Mercury Records, and while it's a mystery as to why Mercury would let the original go out of print, it's pretty obvious why they would choose to re-release it on Limelight (a Mercury subsidiary) in 1964 with both men listed as co-leaders. A bit of a cash grab, to be sure, but the sessions had also gained some historic merit since it was recorded, by the mid-1960s both Adderley and Coltrane had reached new levels of fame and critical adoration that was unthinkable at the time the original album was recorded. ..."
The Jazz Recorded - Dynamic Duo: Cannonball Adderley & John Coltrane - "Cannonball & Coltrane" (Audio)
W - Cannonball Adderley Quintet in Chicago
YouTube: Cannonball Adderley Quintet in Chicago

2015 March: Attica Blues (1972), 2016 June: Archie Shepp - The Magic of Ju-Ju (1967), 2011 November: John Coltrane Quartet, Live at Jazz Casual, 1963, 2012 March: John Coltrane 1960 - 1965, 2012 September: "Naima" (1959), 2012 October: Blue Train (1957), 2013 April: The World According to John Coltrane, 2013 November: A Love Supreme (1965), 2014 July: New Photos of John Coltrane Rediscovered 50 Years After They Were Shot, 2014 November: Coltrane’s Free Jazz Wasn’t Just “A Lot of Noise”, 2015 February: Lush Life (1958), 2015 May: An Animated John Coltrane Explains His True Reason for Being: “I Want to Be a Force for Real Good”, 2015 July: Afro Blue Impressions (2013), 2015 September: Impressions of Coltrane, 2015 December: Giant Steps (1960), 2016 January: Crescent (1964), 2016 April: The Church of Saint John Coltrane, 2016 July: Soultrane (1958), 2016 December: Dakar (1957), 2017 July: The John Coltrane Record That Made Modern Music, 2017 October: Live at the Village Vanguard (1962), 2017 December: Interview: Archie Shepp on John Coltrane, the Blues and More

Sunday, March 18

Can Donald Trump Be Impeached?

The Senate as a court of impeachment for the trial of Andrew Johnson.
"It’s really hard to impeach a president. The founders included the provision, from the very start, as the weakest, 'break the glass in case of emergency' mechanism for reining in an out-of-control executive. He was already subject to a four-year term, so he would remain answerable to the people, and to two other branches of government, which could box him in constitutionally. But the founders’ fear of creeping monarchism — the very reason for their revolution — and their deep realism about human nature led them to a provision, rooted in English constitutional precedent, whereby a rogue president could be removed from office by the legislature during his term as well. At the same time, it’s clear they also wanted a strong executive, not serving at the whim of Congress, or subject, like a prime minister, to a parliamentary vote of 'no confidence.' He was an equal branch of government, with his own prerogatives, empowered, in Hamilton’s words, to conduct his office with 'decision, activity, secrecy and dispatch.' He stood very much on his own feet. And so the impeachment power was both strong and weak. ..."
NY Times
NY Times: Don’t Run From Trump
New Yorker: Impeachment, American Style By Cass R. Sunstein (September 20, 2017)
amazon: Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide, A Citizen's Guide to Impeachment, Can It Happen Here?: Authoritarianism in America

President Donald Trump at The White House on Thursday.